You’d have to be in your 50s or older to remember this, but thanks to technology, many office and business functions that take seconds, only a few years ago were performed manually. Pesky and annoying administrative tasks such as transcribing notes into a document, producing and distributing an office memo, and even printing photocopies of documents, used to take far longer to accomplish. This limited what could be achieved in a standard workday/workweek. Yet when technological advances such as Artificial Intelligence first entered our corporate lives, instead of being seen as the answer to prayer, it was, and still is viewed as a negative only somewhat necessary evil. In this article we’ll review AI’s many benefits, and debunk some myths that linger about its efficacy. The goal here is awareness and acceptance, not blind compliance. Read on!
Back in the day, when one landed a job, the applicant essentially had a job for life. Many of our commuter fathers worked for the same company for their entire career. At the onset they would have been given a trajectory, a roadmap to assist them to ascend the corporate ladder. As they rose in stature, the number of staffers they presided over would multiply as well. Essentially, the more braves one had, the bigger one’s stature as a corporate chieftain. This was true if one worked for a plumbing supply house, major hotel chain, a Fortune 100 financial institution, or a medical equipment multinational.
Whenever a new concept or business tool was introduced, employees would attend classes presided over by a trainer, associated with the Human Resources department. AI changed all that. At first Artificial Intelligence was utilized as a training tool. This author remembers being left alone in front of a huge desktop computer and instructed to watch the program. Figuring out how to turn the desktop on was a conundrum, and the tedious instructional video, comprised of black on white line drawings and text, boring as all hell. Soon, however, the role of the Office Automator, or HR Trainer was history, supplanted by cost-effective AI.
Soon, other office positions, usually entry level or administrative, began to disappear. The team who serviced the copiers and the mailroom gave rise to more sophisticated IT personnel who maintained those cumbersome desktops which sprouted during the 1980s into every cubicle. Over time, more business processes were automated, some by AI, and soon, greater productivity was created by fewer personnel. The status of chieftain was no longer determined by the number of scalps, either. That concept spawned the myth of displaced workers and that AI was a job eater.
Enabling Employees = Greater Job Satisfaction
Actually, AI bridges the gap between management’s need to turn a profit and staffers’ needs to stay engaged and employed. If anything, AI predicts what is needed and fulfills it. Think about it. Years ago, when you wanted to update your W-2, you had to make an appointment to see someone in Human Resources. Today, you need only access your company’s intranet, fill out the online form, hit submit and your status is updated automatically. As for training, one does not need to leave one’s desk. Just click on a link and watch a vastly evolved educational presentation that is engaging, entertaining and highly informative. All thanks to AI.
Across the corporate universe the concept of providing the best possible customer service has taken hold. And it will not be going away anytime soon. For savvy business owners, providing that same concept to their employees, usually through AI-driven technology, provides greater job satisfaction, higher productivity, and an increased ROI. All because the human experience has been enhanced. The strongest argument for AI is not in looking at what it takes away, but what it gives. By marrying digital and human functions the hybrid result is a win-win for all parties. Additionally it furthers the advancement of technologies to propel the human experience forward.